My TBR7 Airbox Modification Trials.

My TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle with upgrades.

We all know, the TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle’s engine needs a spark, fuel, and air. 

Spark: I upgraded my motorcycle engine with a new TBR7 spark plug. Later I added a new Racing Nibbi Ignition Coil to increase the spark strength.

Fuel: I have upgraded my TBR7 with an adjustable carburetor and am testing different main jet sizes. (My TBR7’s Carburetor Upgrade) Again, I later upgraded my TaoTao TBR7’s carburetor to a Nibbi Racing Carburetor (PE30).

Air: I am now looking at upgrading the amount of air the motorcycle receives. I am not talking about a blower fan, yet, just opening the airbox and reducing air resistance to the air intake. I tried to upgrade my motorcycle’s air filter with a K&N air filter, but it didn’t work well on my TBR7. I was told the K&N air filter upgrade works with Hawk 250 motorcycles.

Why Do TBR7 Airbox Modifications Now (Hawk 250 Envy)?

I have been testing the top speed of the TBR7 motorcycle and going out on highways (65mph speed limit). I noticed I could get up to highway speeds, and the bike is nimble enough to avoid problems(potholes, moving back and forth in lanes to avoid air turbulence from trucks, etc.), but the TBR7 sounds like it’s struggling the whole time.

I am not trying to increase the maximum speed technically but increase the ride-ability at highway speeds.

Yes, I read there was a Hawk 250 airbox mod I could do to the TBR7 motorcycle. So I thought I would try to mod my airbox since both motorcycles are Chonda cousins.

Some people recommended aftermarket pod filters for the Hawk 250 and TBR7, but I am concerned about how low those filters sit and how exposed they are to the outside world. So, for now, I will settle with testing with stock motorcycle airbox modifications.

Let’s not forget basic Motorcycle Garage Safety Rules ( My FAQ)

My First TBR7 Airbox (easy-delete) Trial.

My first trial at modifying the airbox was utterly deleting the airbox. I removed the carburetor’s air intake hose and ran the bike. I did this in my garage, and due to no air filtration and how low it sits exposed to the world, I did not ride the motorcycle. I just did some sitting tests.

Results: I fully understood my consequences later; sitting still, in neutral, the throttle response was weird. The engine would bog down if I whipped open the throttle. Any experienced carbureted motorcycle rider would recognize I was experiencing lean-air bogging.

I didn’t think about the throttle response since I was more concerned about having a direct inlet for dirt by removing the air intake tube. So I reconnected the carburetor air intake and moved on.

My Second TBR7 Airbox (almost-delete) Trial.

For my next trial, I removed the airbox cover. This trial exposed the air filter, but I wasn’t riding in the rain, and with the seat installed, the air filter was somewhat shielded by the seat.

This mod of just removing the airbox cover is a mod I read many first-time Hawk 250 owners do and recommend. I do hear the benefits of increased sounds coming from the motorcycle. However, if you follow these Hawk 250 owners, this airbox mod isn’t done long before you find a later post about how they changed the Hawk 250 airbox some other way.

Results: I liked the feel at higher speeds, throttle weirdness(bogging down at whipping it open was minimal), but one thing that I noticed—the noise. Now riding a motorcycle, noise is a concern and part of riding, but it did make the motorcycle sound different. Meaning there was an additional noise, a sucking noise like a shop vac noise.  

I was not too fond of it, still didn’t like the airbox so open, so back away from this trail and reinstalled the airbox lid.

TBR7 Airbox Trim #1: My Gentile Approach.

Now, after a couple of aggressive attempts to delete the airbox inlet, leaving me unhappy, I tried a gentler approach. A way to smooth the airflow into the airbox and maybe help the engine breathe a little.

FYI: Building My List of Must-Have Tools For Motorcycle Owners

I used wire cutters and tripped away extra plastic that interfered with airflow.

Stock TaoTao TBR7 airbox cover.
TBR7’s excess plastic for the air intake.
TaoTao TBR7 airbox cover inlet trimmed.
Snipped off excess plastic to allow air to flow in easier.

Many Hawk 250 owners will understand this, the airbox looks good on the outside, but many plastic parts interfere with airflow. Now the TaoTao TBR7 isn’t as bad as the Hawk 250, with its air dams, but the TBR7 could use some trimming here and there.

Results: I didn’t notice a difference. So the light trimming didn’t seem to change any noticeable performance increases with the motorcycle.

Opening TBR7 Airbox Inlet #1: Power Tools!

Now the pendulum swings. I got aggressive again; this time broke out power tools. My Rockwell SonicCrafter did short work on the airbox inlet.

Rockwell power tool to rescue.
Time To Get Mean On The Airbox!

Author’s Notice: This page contains affiliate links, for which I may earn a commission by their use. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases.

FYI, you, too can get one of these great power tools right here: Rockwell Sonicrafter Oscillating Multi-Tool with 32 Accessories and Carry Bag.

My goal was to open the airbox inlet more while maintaining as much of the deflector as possible. You can see I did cut much of the plastic away but left much of the deflector in position to keep more oversized items(dirt, water, etc.) from being sucked into the airbox.

Cleaning up TaoTao TBR7 airbox inlet.
I plunge cut around the square portion of the air intake.
Cleaning up TaoTao TBR7 airbox inlet.
Another view of the cuts.
Cleaning up TaoTao TBR7 airbox inlet.
Notice how I limited my cuts around the air intake.
Opening up TaoTao TBR7 airbox inlet.
Loose material after power cuts.
Cleaning  opening up TaoTao TBR7 airbox inlet.
Remove the material flaps created.
Tools for final motorcycle airbox trimming.
Now I carefully trimmed the air intake areas by hand.
Final TBR7 motorcycle airbox inlet trimming.
How it looks.
Final TBR7 motorcycle airbox inlet trimming.
Look at the amount of open air space.
Final TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle airbox inlet trimming.
Still deflects, and opens the airbox more.

Results: Maybe there was a noise level change, but I figured not much, which was a good result. However, the performance boost wasn’t there. Or at least not so much that I noticed. 

Final TBR7 motorcycle airbox inlet trimming and reinstalled on airbox.
Air intake still deflects, but look at now much air filter is visible.

These results got me thinking, if you look at the side of the scoop, maybe my modifications interfered with its strength too much, and it was flapping down when riding and closing off the airbox inlet. I didn’t see this with initial testing while the bike is sitting still, but maybe airflow was moving the deflector down when riding. I still was not happy.

Opening TBR7 Airbox Inlet MORE!: With Snips.

I finally accepted it; I would have to lose much of the airbox deflector to prevent what I thought was happening. When riding, the remaining portion of the deflector was being forced down and was covering a large part of the air intake. The deflector becoming an obstruction was my guess, and had to be modified, again.

More TBR7 motorcycle airbox inlet trimming.
Cutting off air deflector floppy piece.
Completed more TBR7 motorcycle airbox inlet trimming.
Final airbox modification.
Installed with more TBR7 motorcycle airbox inlet trimming.
Final airbox modification installed on TBR7.

I removed the overhanging portion of the air deflector and cleaned up the remaining area. The remaining air deflector should continue to work for more oversized dirt items, but I figured it would do nothing for fine particles or water(rain).   

I’m not particularly eager to ride in the rain, and the air filter will have to work harder to keep the air cleaner.  

FYI: Considering a cleanable/reusable air filter in the future. I will keep you up to date.

My Airbox Modification Final Result: I like it. I ‘feel’ I have done my best to open the air intake without removing the airbox lid. I don’t notice any apparent noise increases, but at the same time, (maybe) felt better top-end speed response. The only thing I am sure about, without taking off the lid or doing an airbox delete process, I have modified the airbox the most I want to do for now.  

Truthfully, I am happy. It was fun to modify the airbox, experiment with these modifications, and of course, get out on the TBR7 and ride it more. 😀

If you kept your airbox but modified it, please leave a comment below. I would love to compare notes and be inspired to try something new.  

Chinese Bike Airbox Modification House Cleaning Items:

TBR7 and Hawk 250 Air Boxes Are Slightly Different?

Yes, the Hawk 250 appears to have plastic molded right into the snorkel/airbox inlet to block airflow. You can do a web search and see how to use a rotary tool to remove these air dams on your Hawk 250. Or you can modify the airbox lid inlet as I did—your choice.

Which Modification Will Work With The Hawk 250 Airbox?

The initial trimming operations wouldn’t work much(like it didn’t for me) because the TBR7 and Hawk 250 have slight differences unless you ensure you trim open the air dams on the Hawk 250.

The aggressive last airbox modification, removing most of the deflector, looks like it, too, will work for Hawk 250 owners.

One way to eliminate the Hawk 250’s air-inlet restriction, cut away much of the air inlet as I did for my TBR7.

Next Airbox Mod Step?

I might go with an airbox delete; I might not. Not sure, but not leaning towards an air pod sticking out of the side of the engine like I’ve seen other motorcycle owners have done. I’ll keep you up to date.

Thank you. Ride Safe, Ride Fun!

Airbox Mod Post Update!

More TBR7 airbox modification news!

Foam Filter: Hawk 250 Airbox Mod = TaoTao TBR7 Airbox Mod

Yes, I know the Hawk 250 owners dominate the Chonda forums with their stories of motorcycle mods, and we should not encourage them, but when they are right, they are right.

I repeated a recommended Hawk 250 airbox mod on my TBR7 bike; I went with a foam filter.

A Uni Foam Motorcycle Air Filter upgrade for my TBR7 motorcycle.

Click To See My Recommended
TBR7 Upgrades

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

Additional reading sources: Wikipedia Spark-ignition engine.

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